Monday, June 13, 2016

Broken Arm

By everything left unspoken, our son continued to stay at our home and we found ourselves constantly walking on egg shells around him--trying to avoid conflict.  It never seemed to work.  

One morning, I was working in our office,  when he came to me and asked if he could have a ride to the skate park.  I told him that I couldn’t take him anywhere until I finished what I was working on. 

Then, the barrage became relentless the entire time that I was trying to finish my work and get ready:  “You have to hurry…  You are making me late…   Will you put my hair in a pony tail?  It doesn’t look right.  Look at all the hair that you didn’t get in it.  I look like a heroin addict today because my hair looks so stupid…  Well, there is no way I can go to Applebee’s to apply for a job looking like this…  Are you almost done?  I was supposed to be there an hour and a half ago…  I can’t find my I.D.  That is just great.  Now what am I going to do without an I.D?”  (It was in the pocket of a pair of his pants).

It was like being with a five year old who has no capacity for patience.  And he was trying MY patience to the point that I wondered if he was purposely goading me into starting a battle.   I was biting my tongue and holding my breath and doing everything I could to keep my cool even though having him want to be in charge of my time schedule was driving me crazy.

I finally was able to drop him off, but of course, in addition to all of the things that I had done so far that day to ruin his life, I topped the morning off when I wouldn’t give him any money for lunch.  He got out and slammed the truck door shut without so much as a “see you later.”

We hadn’t heard from him all day and by that evening, I was more than happy to have some precious “away” time with my husband.  We went out to dinner and had just started to eat our meal when my husband’s phone began to ring and we “missed” 20 phone calls from our son. 

When the phone kept ringing and ringing, it seemed like we might as well just answer his call and find out what was so urgent, even though we would have liked to continue our dinner without the drama that was possibly coming our way.  As soon as my husband said hello, our son colorfully said, “If you cared at all to answer your f-ing phone when your son calls, then you would have found out half an hour ago that I fell at the skate park and broke my f-ing arm.  It is raining and it would be really nice if my “parents” could tear themselves away from whatever they are doing to come and get me.”  When my husband tried to get a word in to ask if the arm was broken or just bruised, our son accused him of being "snippy" with him.

We hurried to finish our meal and then picked him up at a grocery store where he had gone to get out of the tiny bit of rain that had started to come down.  The grocery store happened to be right next to an Insta-care, so I told him that I needed to look at his arm to determine if we needed to stop in at that Insta-care to get an x-ray.    

He was so mad at us for having the nerve to finish eating before we came to get him (even though we DID skip dessert) that he wouldn’t let me look at his arm and refused to see a doctor.  He said, "If you could just be NICE parents and buy me a a Little Caesar’s pizza (since I haven't had anything to eat all day), then, you could just take me home and leave me the hell alone."   

Wanting to avoid one more thing for him to get upset about, we actually did stop to pick up a pizza. 

When he got what he wanted, instead of being a little bit grateful, he unleashed his anger again about the events of the night as if it were our fault that he had hurt his arm and as if he needed to prove that we were terrible parents for thinking he was lying about breaking his arm and making him wait as long as we did before we picked him up.      

It wouldn’t have mattered if we had been five minutes away when he called, he still would have found a reason to take everything out on us.  Even though it was pointless to try to defend ourselves, we told him that we came as soon as we could and that even though OUR meal been cut short, we had just willingly bought HIM a meal and that maybe he should be thankful instead of angry.  When he wouldn't drop it, we suggested that if didn’t want to show any appreciation for what we are able to do for him, then maybe he should stop asking us to do things for him. 

He agreed that he would never ask us for anything.


At home, he didn’t seem to be in a lot of pain and wouldn't even take the Ibuprofen that I set out for him. 

But, the next morning, he knocked on my bedroom door and said that he thought he probably DID need to go to the doctor.   He finally let me look at his elbow and it was really swollen and he said it hurt really bad.  He wanted to know when I would be able to take him and I told him that I could be ready in about one hour.
He said that was okay and then as he turned to leave my room, he told me that I needed to tell his dad to get off the computer so that he could use it while he waited.  I said, “YOU can go ask him if you can use the computer while you are waiting.”

He replied, “He is a dick and will keep using it as long as possible just so that I can't.”  This was as far from the truth as it could get.  If he had asked my husband to use the computer, my husband would have gotten out of the office as soon as possible, just to avoid another fight.

I started laughing because it was so ludicrous that he would say that about my husband, fully expecting that it would make me do what he wanted me to do.  He got angry and said, “What is so funny?  I like jokes.  Please tell me what is so f-ing funny.” 

I said, “That you seriously think that if you call your dad a dick and say awful things about him that I will go ask him to let you use the computer.”

I guess the only thing that he could do with my explanation was get angrier.  I was sitting there in my bed waiting for him to get out of my room so that I could get dressed and ready to take him to the doctor and he wouldn’t stop going on and on with his tirade about how badly I treated him.  After all, he simply wanted to watch some shows on the internet while he ate breakfast and I should have wanted to help him do that.   

I grabbed my phone and began sending text after text to my husband to tell him to come upstairs and rescue me (even though he should have been able to hear that there was an angry exchange going on).   But, his phone was not with him in the office and he had no idea that I needed him. 

I finally told my son that we were finished talking and that he was more than capable of asking his father for the use of the computer.   If he felt that he couldn’t take care of that himself, then he was out of luck.  I even suggested that if he needed entertainment while he ate that he might try to read something.  

He said, “I can’t read while I eat, MOM!  I am blind and I have a broken arm.  How am I supposed to eat and hold a book right next to my face, MOM?”

I said, “Look, I just offered an alternate entertainment solution to you.  If you don’t like my suggestion, don’t do it.  Quit getting upset about it.  It is stupid to keep this conversation going.”

Then, he turned everything around and got mad at me for using the word "stupid".  He said he wasn’t allowed to tell US that what we are saying is stupid, so why should I be able to tell him that what he was saying was stupid?  I replied that I hadn’t said that what he was saying was stupid, I said that it was stupid to keep this conversation going.  But, that if I did say that something he was doing WAS stupid, I had every right to do that because I am the parent and he is the kid.

Then he left my room, went into the bathroom, and supposedly called someone to ask them to take him to the Insta-Care because wasn’t going anywhere with me after I said he was stupid and called him a kid. 

At least, without him standing there in my room, I was able to get out of bed, grab my robe, and go find my husband.    

Of course, that was a mistake.  As soon as my son heard me talking to my husband about what he had somehow missed hearing, he charged into the office with us and the tirade started all over again.  It felt like everything was spinning out of control to the point that I didn’t know what we were even fighting about anymore. 

How does agreeing to take him to the doctor turn into a blow-up?

We weren’t even begging to take him to the doctor, but he made sure to tell us that now, he wouldn’t go with us under any circumstances.  We told him that since he wasn’t 18 yet, the doctor would need our consent for treatment.  That made him even angrier because we were calling him a "kid" again.  He said he was just going to get out of our lives because we were f-ing idiots and that he would just suffer with his broken arm since we obviously didn’t care about it anyway.

We suggested one more time that he calm down enough to think about what he was doing because he probably really needed to get his arm x-rayed.

By then, I had taken all that I could take that morning and I went up to the bathroom and turned on the fan so that I couldn’t hear anything going on downstairs. 

I could tell that the arguing had picked up again, but I made myself stay upstairs.  It went on and on and I wondered what else they were arguing about when suddenly, my husband was outside the door asking me for the insurance card.

While I was getting the card out of my wallet, my husband seemed to be putting an end to any more discussion by saying, “There are only three things that I want to ask of you.  Get a job.  Don’t use drugs.  And be nice.  Do those three things and there should be no more reason to have blow-ups like the one this morning.”

Our son replied, “Well, there are only two things I ask of you and you can’t manage to do yours, so leave me the hell alone and don’t talk to me.”

I wonder what the two things that we can't manage are?    

I guess they are to leave him alone.

And don’t talk to him.

Like it would be that easy.

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